View Full Version : New Tomb Kings Army

07-09-2008, 00:16
i am just starting a tomb kings army.

this will be my first real fantasy army after creating a whole tyranid hive fleet.

just really looking for abit of advice on the army from people that use them already.

which units are great to use? which should be avoided?

skeleton archers, hand weapons or spears?

light or heavy horsemen?

ect ect

if it makes any difference my usual opponents are skaven and high elves

vinny t
07-09-2008, 00:36
Against high elves use lots and lots of chariots against the squishy elves. They are miracle workers

07-09-2008, 00:41
Sure it makes a difference where you are playing against.
Take chariots. Plastic, check, impact hits to kill the High Elves, check, fear to shrug off the vermin, check =D

btw, nice choice. You're not going for one of the newer armies =D
So it's seriously a good choice, no sarcasm.

07-09-2008, 00:44
Its an excellent choice, but the army is hard to master so dont worry if you dont win straight away, there are no uber units (though Scorpions come bloody close) and everything relies on being used together and used well :)

Go for a couple of small units of archers to bait and divert enemy units, some big units of SWarriors with Hand Weapons and Ushabti, TG or Chariots to flank enemy units once there in combat with your warriors

07-09-2008, 10:49
i have come up with a vauge army list.

1 tomb king on chariot
2 liche priestss
16 skel archers
15 tomb gaurd
4 ushabti
1 bone giant
4 chariots
1 skull catapult
8 light horsemen
1 scorpion

would it work well or should it be changed?

thanks old master. i am going for this army because i used to play undead years ago. i have tried the new VC army but not keen on the way it plays or the beast like models.
tomb kings seems to be a very rounded force with abit of magic, shooting, speed and combat power

im also not sure if i should add skellies with hand weapon or spears?
and heavy or light horsemen?

07-09-2008, 12:15
Tomb kings were my first army too, good choice!

Scorpions and carrion are excellent for war machine hunting and killing soft characters; one can be buried right next to the machine, and the other can get a first turn charge with a whopping 40" movement (if you get the movement spell off). Chariots are useful too, more so against armies with lots of T3 infantry (elves, empire, etc.)
Skeleton bowmen are handy for cutting back the enemy's ranks, but aren't really amazing troops. They work best in a line of 10 so they aren't too unwieldy while still protecting your blocks of infantry from oncoming fire. For blocks of infantry skeletons with hand weapons, shields, and light armour are the most common choice mostly because you are relying on them more for their static combat resolution than their killing ability, and the 4+ save is great for keeping the enemy bogged down longer. With that in mind i think it is always worth the extra points to upgrade to tomb guard. The extra toughness and strength means they last even longer and can even do a bit of damage back. I always field at least one block of 25 tomb guard for this very reason.
Ushabti are great to use against horde armies. Their high strength is very useful for enemy armour and cuts through T4 troops just as easily as T3. The bone giant is also good against hordes, but currently it is overpointed in comparison to other monsters and its special rule is hampered by its low WS.
My favourite unit in the whole army however is the screaming skull catapult. I cannot emphasise this enough though: ALWAYS TAKE THE SKULLS OF THE FOE UPGRADE!! During my years playing with tomb kings it has come to be the most dreaded weapon in my army. It has won games single handedly and turned potential losses into draws because it is so effective at panicking the enemy.

Units i wouldn't recommend highly are the light and heavy cavalry. Light cavalry are almost double the points of the skeletal bowmen but with very little extra benefit (they move twice as fast and are unit strength 2, but you'll get about half the shots) For a mobile army with lots of chariots they might perform better, but i prefer my tomb kings on the defence. The heavy cavalry likewise pale in comparison to their infantry counterparts. Their low WS means they'll often be trounced by enemy infantry even when they charge, and their save is...bad. The most viable way to use them is with huge units; 15 with a warbanner gives you some static combat res and you'll most likely outnumber the enemy. Having said that though these units cover a wide space on the table and will most likely be shot to pieces. I honestly believe you're better off sticking to multiple chariot units. Their impact hits alone will do more damage than heavy horsemen.

Character wise i believe there are two things worth mentioning:

1. ALWAYS take the max number of characters available

2. NEVER take the icon bearer

Some people have found uses for icon bearers...i am not one of them (although the models make good liches with a bit of conversion :p)

And like has been said already; the tomb kings are a finesse army, so don't be discouraged if you aren't successful early on. It's common to lose 10 or more of your first games before you can fully grasp the nature of this very unique army.

07-09-2008, 13:11
which characters are best to use then?

1 tomb king and 3 priests?

best not to use horsemen then? what should i replace them with?
more chariots?

07-09-2008, 13:31
2. NEVER take the icon bearer

Some people have found uses for icon bearers...i am not one of them (although the models make good liches with a bit of conversion :p)

I'm one of those who have found a use for the Icon bearer, I equip him with the armour of the ages (+1W) and the vembrace of the sun (-1A) mounted on a horse. He get a flimsy 4+ save but he's bit more survivable that way. And I put him in a unit of 4 ushabti in a rather construct heavy army. That way I need to loose by more than 2 the combat phase to start to crumble. I had good success with this unit. The only time they performed very miserably was against a block 15 swordmasters with a hero.

Duke Georgal
07-09-2008, 14:07
i am just starting a tomb kings army.

this will be my first real fantasy army after creating a whole tyranid hive fleet.

just really looking for abit of advice on the army from people that use them already.

which units are great to use? which should be avoided?

Tomb Kings might have the perfect army book. I say this because from what I have seen there is no "standard" build for the Tomb Kings. I don't have a Tomb Kings army, but I have faced several of them.

When so many different experienced players come up with so many different, but effective, builds fromt he same book that tells me that the points costs must be dead on.

07-09-2008, 18:12
Personally I think a Liche high priest with a tomb prince is the best combo for a 2thousand point army. the tomb king is useful for the chariots, but that extra magic power you get from having the high priest is awesome. Perhaps a liche with the casket of souls too. I like Khalida too, shes nasty, plus you get poisoned skeleton archers

07-09-2008, 23:48
Khalida is good if you want a defensive, shooting army that castles up and waits for the enemy, which is in my book a fairly boring way of playing them. Personally I like the King and three Priests, others swear by the High Priest. I don't think there's a set answer, but you'll need a King/Prince model and three Priest models anyway, so it's not like it'll cost you any money or anything to try out and vary between the different options.

I can tell you about my experience playing with Tomb Kings, which is from the perspective of someone who plays a primarily offensive army. I typically use a unit of Tomb Guard and a unit of Skeletons as the core of the army, with some Ushabti and Chariots to support it. In addition, I take some archers, Scorpions, and sometimes Swarms, Carrion, a Bone Giant, or a Screaming Skull Catapult. So those are the units I have experience with, and can give you some opinions about.

Tomb Guard are a really good unit, provided you don't expose their flanks, and they have a character in them to give them some additional punch. On their own they don't really do enough damage to win combats reliably, and if you use them solely as a tarpit to slow down and contain enemy units, you might as well stick with the cheaper and easier to raise Skeletons. I use mine with a King with the Destroyer of Eternities, in a unit of 19, and a Warbanner for some extra punch. Icon of Rakaph is also good, but I feel they get enough mobility with the King propelling them around anyway, and the Icon only comes into play once in a while, while the Warbanner is great in every single battle.

To support the Tomb Guard I use 20 Skeletons with shields, light armor and full command, keeping the two units close together. I don't think you need more than 20, because they're not going to win on their own, and as soon as you have them in a combat along with something else, the combined Unit Strength of the two units will give you the outnumber anyway. The Champion is good to call out challenges to really nasty stuff like Greater Daemons, dragons, and similar, but it's the first thing I drop if I need to shave off points. Generally speaking I think it's a good idea to include one in a melee block, though.

Skeletons with bows are great. Hitting on 5+ might not seem like much, but it's typically the score you'd need anyway. They're awesome for picking off the last model in a rank, dealing with light cavalry threatening your flanks, sniping the occational exposed wizard, and so on. I wouldn't take more than two times 10, though, because they take up a lot of room. 10 on a hill is great, but more often than not, there's only one hill to claim, so the other unit will typically have a hard time getting a good shot in. So, while they're good, I'd advice about going overboard with them. Three units would be pushing it.

Chariots are good as long as you don't expect miracles from them. 3 can work I guess, but I think 4 is the magic number. I give them a banner if I have a little points to spare, but I wouldn't bother with the other command because it's so damn expensive. With the abundance of Always Strike First troops in the current Warhammer climate, I'd always take a unit of 4 these days.

Ushabti are great. A bit expensive, but they can be counted on to deal with almost everything. Never try to use them as a flanking force, because they're only Move 5, and due to their width and inability to march, they'll spend most of the game wheeling into position. Probably my favorite unit in the list, and the models are my favorite ones in the whole game. Three can work, but four is a lot better. A safe purchase.

Tomb Scorpions are awesome. I almost always use one, and usually use two. They can be used to take out warmachines and missile troops, but they're potent and cheap enough to be used for almost everything. Move 7 is extremely good as well, considering how slow everything else tends to be. Throw them in as support for a block of Tomb Guard or Skeletons. Important to remember the 3d6 pursue as well. Get one of these and you won't regret it.

Carrions are also extremely nifty. They bring flying to the army, which really fills a niche since they move so fastly faster than everything in the army (bypassing the no marching restriction). The only reason I don't use them every time is that they have to contest with Tomb Scorpions. I'd use them either in a unit of 3 for warmachine hunting and general nuciance, or 5 and try to get some Enemy in the Way traps in as well. Remember than you can move them twice; first with their normal move, and then again with an incantation. This allows you to pull off some really neat tricks, like out-from-nothing rear charges and stuff like that. Very underrated unit.

The Bone Giant isn't as bad as people say it is. It's often compared directly to Ushabti based on how much damage it does, which is unfair. It's better than Ushabti at flanking, because its faster and doesn't have to wheel. It's also a lot more durable and retains its flank-negating US6 even on its last wound. Unfortunately, WS3 is just too low to really get any real punch from its Unstoppable Assault rule. I rarely use mine anymore in 2000-2250 games.

The Screaming Skull Catapult is very fun. I've recently started using it, and while I wouldn't base an army around it, it's very good. Not only is it very good for taking stuff out of the game (at least temporarily) with its special effect; your opponent will be very wary of it and will seldom allow you to shoot it twice in a round, so its good to cast an incantation on early in the magic phase and draw some dispel dice.

Tomb Swarms are a decent unit often overshadowed by Scorpions. I think their main strength is if you play a High Liche Priest army, where Chariots are a Special choice as well. Thus, you can use Swarms instead of Scorpions to deal with warmachines, and free up more Specials for Chariots, Ushabti, and Tomb Guard.

So, that's a brief summary of the units I use and my experience with them. I won't go out on a limb and pretend to be an expert on the other playing styles (High Liche Priest, super defensive, or Chariot King), but if you have any questions about playing a Tomb King on foot based army, feel free to drop me a PM if you have any questions. I love to hear myself talk.

08-09-2008, 03:31
TK were my first army after a long time out of fantasy, and while I agree that they take a bit of getting used to and probably a longer "settling in" (for want of a better word) period, eventually it'll click, you'll find a style you like, and you'll be off. So excellent choice! I don't think there are really any hard and fast rules with any army, and certainly not with TK, who can be adapted to really suit you. The only thing I would say, though its based wholly on my experiences and how I like to play, is that you could maybe do with more skeletons. Might as well maximise the fear effect by taking biggish blocks if you can, with the added bonus that it makes more likely the'll survive a round or two with shock troops.

Other than that I'd just suggest you experiment and have fun with 'em and find out what works best for you.

08-09-2008, 08:53
I'm pretty new to tomb kings. In fact, I haven't played WFB since 1998, when I switched to 40k. So don't take anything I say as anything more than hopes and theories.

I agree about TG needing a character to really work. My theory on tomb kings is archers for annoying the enemy and screening the anvil's flank. The anvil is a block of 20 tomb guard with a prince. The hammer is three chariots accompanied by a mounted tomb king. I know I'm giving up a LOT of magic potential by not only taking a tomb king instead of a high priest, but also taking a tomb prince as well. The chariots would do okay without a character (in fact, I may field a second unit of them without a character), but the prince in the guard unit is a must, and I want a mounted king for fluff reasons (not that he won't kick some serious butt).

That brings me to magic. Two liches seems to be pretty weak at the 2k level, I know. It seems to me that most tomb kings armies rely on finesse in assault and brute force in magic. I'm reversing that. I think that, properly designed, the heirarchy of incantations will induce the enemy to pass on disspelling some seemingly innocuous, but critical to my designs, incantations early on because they worry about potentially devastating incantations to come. In other words, I'll be able to double-move my chariots, strike twice with my tomb guard, and heal my skeletons with impunity because of the looming threat of the casket of souls and double-firing the catapult. Of course, with my short supply of disspell dice, I'll have to take two scrolls and a brooch, and manage the enemy magic phase very carefully...but that's the point, finesse in magic and brute force in assault.

I'm thinking two small units of archers, 20 tomb guard, prince, chariot king, seven chariots, two scorpions, a catapult, a liche with casket, and a mounted liche (heirarch). Two scorpions should be enough of a deep threat, right?

23-09-2008, 22:37
somebody sent me the new tomb kings write up. but i deleted it by accident.

can somebody please send it over again?


24-09-2008, 18:55
I would advise using larger blocks of archers (21) but in 2 lines of 10. sure unless they are on a hill only ten will be able to shoot, but when an enemy comes at them you can reform in your movement phase, and either charge in the magic phase (assuming you have nothing else important to do) or shoot 5 shots in the shooting phase. your unit has now gone from an easy target to a much harder one, this means that many units that would ordinary be used against archers are going to get killed by your archers.

Also heres a trick I have found to be very useful; picture this: You are at the end of your magic phase, and your enemy has saved 3-4 power dice for your casket. Don't use the casket! sure theres a chance that you will roll double 6 and/or he will roll double 1 and it will get off, but don't forget the phychological effect of this, he has saved 3-4 power dice (people are very scared of that thing) and never used them. Next turn its completely possible (and in my experience probable) that he will save less or even no power dice for it, and it will get off. Of course this probably wont work against a very good opponent, but I have found it can be an effective trick.

Also don't forget the staff of ravening, especially against elves, it doesn't look very frightening, bot you would be surprised the damage it can do. 'lol swordmasters...'

10-02-2009, 21:12
I think the best bet is to make a solid sponge archers two or three squads of 16 should take some damage niceley as for special units take ushbati and scropions! and rare well its obvious take as many catapults as possible.
now take three preists and a tomb king on a chariot with armour of the ages and flail of skulls alternativley give him a chariot of fire and a crook and flail!
the latter is the best choice for charging but is only good for charging, it goes without saying that you put the king in a chariot group so you can smash even tough elite units with a resonble flank charge.
this army needs four units of chariots to work because the damage cause by them is immense on a flank charge! use them!